Some say the ailing economy has merely heightened the already conservative stance of the alcoholic drinks industry. Is this fair?

The glass seems to be half empty as far as innovation in the drinks category goes.

“I haven’t seen any earth-shattering NPD in this category in the last 18 months,” says Dan Jago, Tesco’s category director for beers, wines and spirits. “I don’t expect anyone would tell you any differently.”

The dearth of creativity has been particularly acute in beer – as the brands themselves admit.

“We get feedback from our retail partners that shopping the beer aisle is about as exciting as buying canned veg, and unless we can add more excitement we’re not going to reverse the decline,” says Kristy McCready, communications partner at Molson Coors.